Monday marked the dawn of a new era at the FCC, where newly-vested FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski officially took up his duties after being sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Genachowski, a Democrat who, at one time, clerked for Souter at the high court, spent his first day on the job naming members of his staff. Concurrently, Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein left the agency in preparation for his future position as administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Since joining the FCC in 2002, Adelstein and his Democratic colleague, Michael Copps, have forged a tight ideological and voting bloc on media ownership and other key issues facing the FCC. Copps, who returned to his role as FCC commissioner on Monday after serving for six months as the agency’s acting chairman, said, “Jonathan and I have worked closely together on so many issues that it makes it hard for me to imagine a commission without him.” While wishing Adelstein the best in his new venture, Copps offered a warm welcome for Genachowski, who, according to Copps, “brings impressive private sector and technology experience with him and enjoys deserved renown for innovative thinking and new approaches.” Genachowski also thanked Adelstein for his service at the FCC, noting, “while I regret that I won’t have the pleasure of serving with [Adelstein] at the FCC, I look forward to forging a strong partnership with him in his future work.” Contingent upon Senate confirmation, Adelstein will oversee RUS’ distribution of $2.5 billion in funds allocated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for rural broadband services. No schedule has been set by Senate leaders for Adelstein’s confirmation hearing or for confirmation hearings pertaining to the remaining FCC nominees, Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Baker.